“TAKE IMMEDIATE ACTION”
Recent statistics indicate that at least nine people are killed and more than 1000 others injured in car crashes that involve a distracted driver. One of the most common distractions today is texting while driving.
If you’ve been injured in a crash where the driver was texting and driving, you need to sue them for your injuries. Texting while driving is illegal for all drivers in the U.S, except in Missouri where the ban only applies to drivers below 21 years and Montana where the ban is still not in effect.
Whether texting while driving is legal or not, causing an accident and hitting pedestrians due to avoidable distractions isn’t excusable.
But how do you go about such a case if you’re the victim? What should you do if you get hit by a distracted driver? Keep reading to find out!
First Things First: Call the Police
After a car crash, it is almost obvious that someone will call the police to the crime scene. However, this doesn’t always happen. If you’re in the right physical state, call the police or ask a witness to contact them for you.
Police presence is incredibly crucial in an accident scene. They record the incident in a crash report, and the insurance company will assess this document when determining compensation.
Calling the police immediately ensures that no one tampers with the scene, a situation that could jeopardize your compensation.
Record Your Statement
After contacting the police, it is essential to give your statement. If you’re in the right physical state, give your statement of account at the scene. This is where you mention that the liable driver was texting while driving.
Don’t forget to make this revelation to the police. If there are any witnesses at the scene, ask them to corroborate your statement as well. Causing an accident while texting is a serious offense, and the liable driver shouldn’t get away with it.
If you’ve been badly injured and can’t give your statement at the scene, ensure you do so after seeking medical assistance.
Contact an Injury Lawyer
A personal injury case, especially one where the defendant is a driver who was texting while driving, can be difficult to navigate. You need proof that the driver was indeed texting, and this can only be obtained through acquiring their phone records.
If the guilty party denies liability, you also need witnesses to corroborate your statement and show that you weren’t the distracted pedestrian. In some cases, you may require expert witnesses to recreate the crime scene for purposes of proving fault.
All this would be easier with an attorney. After getting hit, find an auto accident lawyer as soon as possible. The attorney will take care of the remaining aspects of your case. If not, you’ll have to maneuver on your own.
The auto accident attorney will do the following:
- Gather Witness Statements
You may require witnesses to give a statement regarding the crash. After the accident, you may not be in the right physical or mental state to do this. The attorney will work with the police to get contacts of witnesses and their statement.
The statements will come in handy when negotiating a claim with the defendant’s insurance company. If they deny your allegations, the witnesses can confirm them and help pin liability on the driver.
- File a Claim with the Insurer
After gathering witness statements, you need to file a claim with the defendant’s insurer. If the insurance approves the claim, you receive compensation for damages. These include the following:
- Medical expenses
- Loss of income
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
Going head-to-head with the insurance company is not a good idea. They have experienced lawyers who can water down your case or trick you into taking less compensation.
However, an experienced auto accident lawyer knows what damages you deserve and will ensure you get every last penny.
- Gather and File Necessary Documents
A lot of documents go into preparing a car accident claim. These include the following:
- The actual claim form
- Medical records detailing the injuries
- Cell phone records of the driver
- The police accident report
- Witness statements
- Photographs of the scene
Trying to gather all these on your own may be impossible, especially if you suffered physical injuries. Some evidence may also get tampered with if you don’t know how to look.
For example, the driver may delete phone records to destroy evidence. But a lawyer knows they should send a preservation letter asking that the carrier preserves the phone records for the case.
By hiring an attorney on time, you can have access to all the documents required to earn you compensation for the injuries.
- Take the Case to Trial
Most accident cases resolve through a settlement with the driver and their insurance companies. However, there are times when the driver may deny liability or the insurer may reject the claim.
In this case, you need to take the case to trial. Going to trial for an accident where the driver was texting while driving can be advantageous for you in the following ways:
- In all but one states, texting while driving is an offense. If the driver is found guilty, this could increase the value for your case.
- An admission of guilt may earn the driver a reckless driving conviction. If this happens, it could mean more compensation for you.
Your attorney will work tirelessly to give you a win. Most injury lawyers work on a contingency basis; thus, you don’t have to worry about paying them upfront.
- Offer Necessary Support
Getting hit by a car can result in serious injuries. You’re lucky if you leave the scene with all your bones intact. Thus, you need all the support you can get during this time.
For example, you need someone to notify your employer that you won’t be able to work and file the necessary documentation. You also need help following up the case and sitting in settlement meetings.
An attorney can offer all the support you need as you recover from the injuries. Some even recommend the best therapists should you need one to recover from the mental trauma.
Know What to Do in a Texting and Driving Accident
If you’ve been hit by someone who was texting and driving, you need to take immediate action if you want them to pay for the damages.
Hire an auto accident attorney for your case. They will not only handle every aspect of the case but will also take it to trial if the driver or their insurer fails to pay up for the damages.